As the largest resettlement agency in Pennsylvania, Liberty’s Lutheran Children and Family Service provides hundreds of refugees with valuable resources and hope for the future each year. According to the United Nations, millions of families have lost their homes to violence and war and one refugee family without shelter is too many. World Refugee Day was established by the United Nations to honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. We’re joining hands across the globe on June 20 in recognition of World Refugee Day, a special time to recognize the resilience of forcibly displaced people throughout the world.
When a refugee is granted legal admission to the U.S. and arrives in the Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley or Lancaster areas, LCFS is responsible for gathering available resources, finding housing and employment, and providing general cultural orientation. We work with government agencies, community partners, churches, congregations, and volunteers to welcome hundreds of newcomers each year and equipment with skills for self-sufficiency. LCFS, our community partners, refugee clients and friends are participating in events across Pennsylvania in the spirit of World Refugee Day.
In Philadelphia, LCFS has teamed up with local provider agencies and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s Office of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs for “Global Neighbors – Global Philadelphia” on Saturday, June 21. The World Refugee Day celebration is being held at Northeast High School on Cottman Avenue from 1pm-4pm, featuring ethnic foods, games, crafts and traditional arts.
The Lancaster City Council is proclaiming June 20 as World Refugee Day 2014 for that community. The formal proclamation will take place at 8am on June 20 at Lancaster City Council Chambers. James Reichenbach, City Council’s Community Development and Planning Chair will present the proclamation to representatives from LCFS and Church World Service. The event will also be attended by local and state officials, business owners, religious leaders, volunteers and local refugees. LCFS resettled nearly 500 refugees in Lancaster County between October 2012 and September 2013.
In the Lehigh Valley, LCFS and its sister agency, Liberty’s Lutheran Congregational Services, are teaming up with the American Red Cross of the Greater Lehigh Valley for a World Refugee Day Pot Luck Picnic. The picnic is being held for refugee families, community partners and volunteers at Macungie Memorial Park in Macungie, 11am-3pm. Picnic-goers will enjoy an afternoon of fun, games and traditional cultural food and American favorites like hotdogs.
The World Refugee Day annual commemoration is marked by events in more than 100 countries, involving government officials, humanitarian aid workers, celebrities, civilians and the forcibly displaced themselves. Liberty’s Lutheran Children and Family Service is proud to have helped organize the events in Philadelphia, Lancaster and the Lehigh Valley and proud to help hundreds of refugees start new lives in these communities.